Riverdale looks into new overpass by State Street

Published: Mar. 2, 2023 at 11:15 PM CST
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RIVERDALE, Iowa (KWQC) - The City of Riverdale is taking a look at intersections and rail crossings on U.S. Route 67 with a new traffic study. The corridor could change in a major fashion with the potential addition of a multi-million dollar overpass.

While the project is still in the early stages, Riverdale is considering building a single overpass over the train tracks somewhere along State Street between Valley Drive and Fenno Road.

The study, which may also be funded in part by the City of Bettendorf, will take a look at which railroad crossings are best to close and where an overpass may be the best fit along the highway that runs through both cities.

This comes as Riverdale is negotiating an agreement with Canadian Pacific regarding its merger with Kansas City Southern.

If the merger goes through, the Quad Cities could see train traffic triple and train length nearly double. The city is worried it could bring up issues near the Arconic plant.

Riverdale Mayor Anthony Heddlesten said the city held town hall meetings about the merger.

“The concern that we hear from residents, businesses, whoever we talked to, it’s all just about safety,” Heddlesten said

The study will look into alternate routes needed for navigating through the city because of longer trains, that’s where a new overpass comes in.

“We would be trying to find an ideal location that we could connect the north and south side of the tracks together, wherever that might be,” Heddlesten said.

Another part of the study is to figure out the cost, funding and feasibility of an overpass. Heddlesten said it’ll be a major project for the city.

“I would guess it is a $10 million-ish figure.,” Heddlesten said. “We don’t do business that big in Riverdale, usually. So that’s a pretty big jump for us. "

In addition to bridge placement, the study will take a look at which rail crossings would be best to close and possibly establish quiet zones.

Other traffic flow improvements are also being considered.

“That would give us an opportunity to also put a stoplight in to make the intersection safer, make the railroad intersection safer,” Heddlesten said. “Just a big combination of safety improvements for everyone.”

While there is still a lot of red tape to go through Heddlesten said there could be benefits outside of the small city.

“If this all gets approved, and if we are able to enact a quiet zone, this is almost a full 10 miles of quiet zone for the whole ... metro Quad Cities,” Heddlesten said.

Officials with both the city of Bettendorf and Arconic said it is too early for them to comment on the traffic study.

Meanwhile, Canadian Pacific spokesman Andy Cummings said in a statement the company is still exploring settlements with other cities in Iowa.

“CP continues to engage with communities in eastern Iowa,” Cummings wrote. “As you know, [CP] has reached agreements with Davenport, Bettendorf, Muscatine, Washington, Clinton, LeClaire and others.”

According to Heddlesten, if Bettendorf approves its part of the study, it could be completed sometime this June or July.

The Bettendorf City Council is taking up the issue at its meeting on Tuesday.